Abnormally heavy periods, pain, large clots, and having to leave work early due to stains are embarrassing moments for every woman. Having tried all the treatment options, but still unable to get rid of these symptoms is depressing. For such women, hysterectomy is an appropriate option.
An abdominal hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the entire uterus and cervix by making an incision in the lower abdomen. Hysterectomy can also be done by making an incision inside the vagina and removing the uterus through the vagina. This type of hysterectomy is referred to as vaginal hysterectomy.
Women undergo total abdominal hysterectomy for several reasons, such as uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, uterus cancer, cervical cancer, abnormal bleeding, and chronic pelvic pain. An abdominal hysterectomy is considered when other treatment options fail to treat or manage the condition.
Total abdominal hysterectomy is the best option over other types of hysterectomy if the woman:
- Has a large uterus
- Is obese
- Never had a child
- Have large fibroids
However, after reviewing the overall health condition of the woman, the doctor will decide whether she is eligible for abdominal hysterectomy or not.
PREPARATION BEFORE PROCEDURE
During the consultation before the procedure, your surgeon will collect your medical and medication history. The surgeon will tell you about the procedure, its benefits, and risks. You need to stay confident and ask any questions or doubts regarding the surgery. Additionally, you need to undergo some tests (blood tests, X-rays) to check if you are fit for surgery. Sometimes, if your surgeon suspect’s cancer, then Pap test and biopsy are recommended that may change the approach of the surgery.
Follow the instructions given below to have an uneventful surgery:
- Inform the surgeon about the use of current medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements
- A week before, stop taking aspirin or any other medicines that increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery
- Notify the surgeon if you are allergic to any medicines or substances
- If you smoke, then quit it
- If you are overweight, then lose weight
- Ask your doctor whether you need to follow any dietary restrictions on the day before surgery
Total abdominal hysterectomy is performed under general anaesthesia. Based on the reason for the hysterectomy, the presence of previous scars on the abdomen, and the size of the uterus, the surgeon will make either a horizontal or vertical incision in the abdomen. A horizontal incision starts in the middle of the abdomen and extends downwards just above the pubic bone. A vertical incision is done above or below the navel and just above the pubic bone. Now, through this incision, the surgeon will access and remove the uterus and cervix. After the removal, the surgeon will stitch up the incision and cover it with a bandage.
After surgery, you will be in the recovery room for a few hours; the nurse will check your blood pressure, body temperature, and other vitals. Pain at the site of incision is common for a few weeks. You will be advised to take certain medicines to manage pain and prevent the risk of infections. Vaginal discharge or bleeding is common for a few days or weeks, which can be managed by using sanitary pads.
Before discharge, the nurse will give certain instructions regarding wound care. The incision in the abdomen will heal gradually but leaves a scar behind.
Total abdominal hysterectomy causes a huge change in a woman’s life. So, following these tips may help in quicker recovery:
- Take adequate rest
- Do not lift heavy weights for at least six weeks after the surgery
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks
- Abstain from sex for a few weeks
- Call your doctor immediately if you have severe abdominal pain or experiencing heavy bleeding (2 pads per hour)
FACTORS AFFECTING COST
The price of total abdominal hysterectomy depends on several factors. These factors include the following:
- Location of hospital
- Type of hospital
- Operation room cost (per hour charges)
- Hospital stay
- Current medical reports
- Current medications
- Follow-up visits
Total abdominal hysterectomy has a low risk of damage to the urinary tract and blood vessel. Also, this procedure allows for the repair of the prolapse at the same time if required.
No, a hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus (an organ where the baby grows), which ends the ability of a woman to become pregnant. If you want to become pregnant talk to your doctor about other alternatives.
Based on the overall health condition and recovery, the patient is advised to stay for at least one to two days in the hospital.
Total abdominal hysterectomy usually lasts for about one to two hours, but if other procedures are performed along with it, then it may take longer.
Based on the type of incision and the patient’s condition, the recovery usually takes six weeks.